The initiative by Republican lawmakers to impeach US Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas has failed. In a vote in the full House of Representatives, the proposal, which had little precedent, was defeated by two votes, 214 in favor versus 216 against.
Four Republicans joined Democrats in rejecting allegations made against the Biden administration's immigration chief: violating his duty to protect the border and violating the public trust placed in him by making false statements to Congress.
The result of the vote is a bitter blow to House Speaker Mike Johnson, who said shortly before the vote that he had enough votes to advance the proposal.
Democratic lawmakers, constitutional experts and Mayorka's predecessors in office had condemned the move, accusing Republicans of seeking to turn a mere political disagreement into a legal punishment. They also claimed that there was no evidence that the Secretary of Homeland Security had committed treason or a serious crime for which the United States Constitution reserves impeachment.
Democrats also denounced that this initiative was reduced to mere posturing: Even if the impeachment trial had taken place in the House, it would have no chance of approval in the Senate, where the ruling party has the majority. It is the first time in nearly 150 years that a political trial or “impeachment” trial has been undertaken against a member of a presidential team in the United States.
With the number of irregular migrants on the rise, immigration has become a major issue in the election campaign ahead of next November's presidential election in the United States. Last year broke records for illegal entries: 2.4 million people, 14% more than the previous year. In December, the Border Patrol arrested nearly 250,000 people trying to cross the border illegally, the highest number in decades.
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Republican Congressman Tom McClintock, one of those who voted against the measure, said during debate on the proposal that Mayorkas is “guilty of stratospheric levels of mismanagement of our immigration laws.” At the same time, however, he clarified that the Constitution does not provide for the Constitution to be used as a weapon in “political struggles.”
The proposal's failure comes on the same day that Republicans appeared to reject a bill in the Senate that would address the problem for which they blame Mayorkas' inaction: border control. That proposal, the contents of which were announced on Sunday, tightened immigration control measures and included, among other things, an allocation of almost $120 billion to help Ukraine against the Russian invasion and to Israel in the war in Gaza. For their part, Republicans in the House of Representatives had proposed another bill solely to support Israel, although this measure was also defeated by 250 votes against and 180 in favor.
In a statement, the Department of Homeland Security attacked the “baseless and unconstitutional” attempt to remove its leader. “House Republicans will go down in history for trampling on the Constitution in search of political gain rather than working together to solve the serious challenges at our border,” said department spokeswoman Mia Ehrenberg.
Last year, records were broken for irregular entry with 2.4 million people, 14% more than the previous year; In December, the Border Patrol arrested nearly 250,000 people trying to cross the border illegally, the highest number in decades.
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